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23rd May

1533 Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn, wife number two.

1873 The North West Mounted Police were formed in Canada.

1883 * Douglas Fairbanks, US actor who starred in the film The Black Pirate (1926).

1928 * Rosemary Clooney, US singer and actress.

1933 * Joan Collins, English actress who starred in the TV series Dynasty.

1934 Bonnie Parker and Clyde Baron, US outlaws, were killed in a hail of police bullets.

1945 Heinrich Himmler, head of Adolf Hitlerís Gestapo, committed suicide while in prison.

1949 The German Federal Republic came into existence.

1951 * Anatoly Karpov, Russian world chess champion in 1972.

1960 Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi wanted for war atrocities was found living in Argentina.

1966 The British government declared a state of emergency just a week after the nation's seamen strike began.

1977 More than 100 children and six teachers were taken hostage in a primary school in northern Holland.

1984 At least four people were killed and dozens more injured in an explosion at a water treatment plant in Abbeystead, near Lancaster.

1997 Moderate Mohammad Khatami was elected president of Iran.

1998 The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, welcomed the resounding "yes" vote in the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland and called it "a day for joy".

xxxx * = Date of birth

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